Mark A. Smith is professor of Political Science and an adjunct professor of Comparative Religion and Communication at the University of Washington. His research focuses on economic and religious groups, ideas, and influences in American politics. In his new book, Secular Faith: How Culture Has Trumped Religion in American Politics, Dr. Smith argues that religion is not nearly the unchanging conservative influence in American politics that we have come to think it is and is best understood as responding to changing political and cultural values rather than shaping them.
Welcome to the Morning Buzz, PRRI’s morning dose of religion-related news with a shot of data – because what doesn’t liven up a morning round-up like some public opinion numbers?
Tired of the two-party system? You may be in luck. Sarah Palin recently discussed the prospect of creating a third political party–the “Freedom Party.”
Atheists have erected their first-ever monument on U.S. government property, putting it up next to a stone slab of the Ten Commandments outside a Florida courthouse. The effort came after the New Jersey-based American Atheists sued to have the religious monument removed, and lost. Less than half (45 percent) of Americans have a favorable opinion of atheists.
In other nonbelief news, a survey finds 38 percent of young Brits identify as atheists and an even greater number see religion as a source of evil in the world.
They may not always see eye-to-eye on the bench, but Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Antonin Scalia get along well in a duck blind.
Are you literate enough to pass a 1960s Louisiana literacy test? You have 10 minutes. Ready, set…